Monthly Archives: January 2011

Mt. Nemrut, Turkey: 5 Reasons to Visit This Mini Easter Island

Mt Nemrut Heads

Mysterious statues with prominent heads. A remote location in the middle of nowhere. A unique energy from the past.

Sounds like Easter Island, right? Well, it is. But it’s also Mt. Nemrut, Turkey. While these sites are from different historical eras and are on opposite sides of the planet, they do seem to be connected with a faint and sort of fascinating dotted line.

And while I have no doubt that Easter Island is a peak travel experience on many travelers’ bucket lists, I know that many don’t make it to that part of the world or simply can’t afford the trip. If you fall into that category and happen to be traveling to Turkey, then you might want to check out Mt. Nemrut. It’s an affordable alternative that’s not exactly shabby.

Before getting into the reasons for visiting Mt. Nemrut, here’s some information about the one and only Easter Island.

The Triptastic 10: Recommended Reading Right Now

The Wolf's Lair: Hitler's bunker in remote Poland

Every day, I read many great posts from the travel “blog-o-sphere.” Certain ones, however, really catch my eye.

Usually, it’s because they’re off the beaten path/quirky, intelligent/thought-provoking or simply really well-done (well-written, amazing photos, great tips, etc.). Or maybe they’re ‘sleeper posts,’ those yet to be recognized/appreciated.

These posts are what I call “triptastic”–fantastic from a traveler’s perspective. They deserve more than a mere “tweet” or basic comment. They’re meant to receive some extra praise and to be shared with others.

Note: Although my favorite pick is at the top of the list, the others are in a random order and not intended to be a ranking.

My “Triptastic” Picks

Wolf’s Lair: Hitler’s Bunker in Poland (my #1 pick)

If you’re interested in WWII and Hitler at all and/or you like to travel off the beaten path, then you have got to

Morals & Ethics of Travel Photography: When Shouldn’t You Take That Photo?

Two boys living in a shanty community outside of Jerusalem

Ever find yourself in a situation where you want to snap a photo, but for some reason, you hesitate?

Perhaps something about the subject or the situation doesn’t feel quite right and after quick consideration, you turn off your camera.

Or perhaps, despite feeling that it’s wrong on some level, you go ahead and take the shot anyway.

Later, you wonder if you maybe you shouldn’t have and feel the tiniest bit of regret…or perhaps you don’t look back or give it another thought.

What would you do in these situations?

Below are several situations in which the ethics of travel photography are questionable, so let’s talk about them and learn from each other.

The Chicken Bus Workout: 5 New Exercises for Backpackers

Chicken Bus Driver/Personal Train

Too many empanadas? Too much white bread? How about Pringles, Oreos and other imported junk food that tastes best when you’re far from home?

It’s easy to pack on the pounds when traveling in Latin America (or anywhere for that matter). And if you’re not careful, those fancy hiking pants that double as shorts could suddenly get tight in the gut.

Not to worry, though. I have devised a solution that’s effortless yet highly effective, which is available to you during those long rides on a chicken bus, colectivo or other DCT (developing country transportation) such as trains or boats. It’s a complete workout: strength training with some cardio thrown in for good measure.

A Unique Exercise Program

Known as the Chicken Bus Workout, this one-of-a-kind exercise plan is my brainchild, which I’ve put together after many years of traveling.

Middle Eastern Mannequins: A Secret and Surreal World

Mannequin Twins

Some are beautiful and have warm eyes that look but don’t quite stare. Others are eerie, with fixed expressions and penetrating eyes that seem to follow you.

Most are a hybrid: bizarre yet beautiful, surreal and striking.

During my many trips around the world, I’ve probably seen thousands of mannequins. None, however, caught my eye quite like the ones I saw in three cities in the Middle East:

* Mardin, Eastern Turkey
* Amman, Jordan
* Aleppo, Syria

Connected Somehow?

For some reason, I found ‘them’ a bit more peculiar than the typical ones. Certainly, they have a unique look. But there’s something else that’s intriguing–a bizarre connection ‘they’ seem to share.

Trippy Travel Photo #3: Turkish Circumcision Mannequin

Adult Circ Mannequin copy

Who is this ‘man’ and why the heck does he look this way? And where the heck was he planning to go in such a crazy outfit?

Take a closer look, guess and maybe you’ll win the 3rd Trippy Travel Photo game, a unique series/game I recently started!

The Game

I post the pic, you try to guess and we have fun. Answer these questions (expanded instructions here):

Where was it taken?

What is it of? (Or in some cases, what was happening?)

How to Play

–Post your guesses here in the Comments Section (tweets don’t count–sorry)
–Keep checking and guessing as the guessing gets good
–See who won; maybe it will be you!

Got a minute (OK–1.5 minutes!)? Then, check out this video I made of a parade at the Yogyakart[more]

Capture the Color Contest Entry: 5 Travel Photos from Off the Beaten Path

Capture the Color is a meme-style travel photography contest where bloggers are asked to share photo[more]

8 Ways An Indonesian Village Led Me to Live in the Moment

Staying in a village can really put you in the moment–for a multitude of reasons–and tha[more]

Trippy Travel Photo #20: Golden Chicken Fern–West Sumatra, Indonesia

Trippy Travel Photo #20 is of a ‘golden chicken fern’–aka, Cibotium Barometz–[more]

15 Highlights of Indonesia: Destinations and Experiences I Enjoyed Most

I’d love to share my ‘top 5′ destinations or highlights of my 8-week stay in Indon[more]